Last week, the big news here in NYC that the police are going to use technology to help fight crime.
"This year, we'll begin a revolutionary innovation in crime-fighting: Equipping 911 call centers to receive digital images and videos New Yorkers send from cell phones and computers something no other city in the world is doing," he said. "If you see a crime in progress or a dangerous building condition you'll be able to transmit images to 911, or online to NYC.GOV."
As Bruce Schneier discusses, this is significant for two reasons. First, it will allow callers to convey much more information to 911 operators in situations where they can't also articulate what's going on. Perhaps more importantly, it will assist in the prosecution of criminals.
Still Images and videos can also help identify and prosecute criminals. Memories are notoriously inaccurate. Photos aren't perfect, but they provide a different sort of evidence -- one that, with the right safeguards, can be used in court.
As they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words.